Proper Plant a Tree

How to Plant a Tree Correctly

According to a traditional gardening saying, “put a 50-cent plant in a $5 hole”. And it’s just as straightforward as it seems. Proper tree planting and caring for it will save you lots of cash and time.

If you know the basics about planting a tree, you’ll get the hang of it soon. The key to a successful tree planting, is digging a wide hole. This will allow fast growing of the tree. Experts usually recommend you to dig a whole twice or thrice as wide as the previous container. However, keep the depth about the height of root ball to prevent settling.

Here’s a tutorial to show you how to plant a tree properly. We also have included some useful information for you to find about the value of your tree.

How to Dig a Hole for a Tree

You’ll need to make a hole in the earth to begin with. Dig the hole twice or thrice as wide as the root base. Handle the root carefully and make sure the ball doesn’t fall apart during the process. Place the root ball inside the hole and turn the best side of tree in the direction of your preference. If your tree’s root is contained inside a burlap, cut the twine and remove the burlap. If you cannot remove it, just push the remaining burlap to the bottom of the hole.

Editor’s Tip: Keep a 10-feet distance between small trees and your property foundations or utility lines for the mature plant may grow up to 30 feet tall. Large trees (30 to 70 feet tall) must be planted at least 15 feet away from lines and foundations. Larger trees with height of 70 feet and above require 20 feet distance.

Fill The Hole

Fill the hole back with the soil you just dug out, and tap the soil firm as you go. Make sure the trunk remains straight. You can also create a watering well with the remaining soil.

According to an old practice, some gardeners mix the remaining soil with organic matter. However, this is proven to have little benefit. Your tree will thrive based on the quality of soil itself, so amending the soil with extra ingredients is no longer recommended. What matters most, is loosening the soil around young roots to make room for growth. Now you know the reason behind digging a wide hole!

Install Tree Stakes

Near the newly planted tree, push the stake into the ground and through the root ball. Tie trunk loosely to the stake.

Large trees may need two or three stakes placed several feet from the trunk.

Proper Plant a Tree

Watering a Newly Planted Tree

Water the tree immediately after planting, and do it every day for the next few weeks. The roots will grow out of the previous ball within a month or two, entering the native soil. After some weeks you can decrease watering frequency. Fertilizing at time of planting is not suggested since it might harm your tree. Scatter a 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of tree (avoid smothering the trunk in mulch volcano!) to prevent excessive evaporation and weed growth.

Editor’s Tip: You should not prune newly planted trees, unless there are broken or disease-infected branches. Leave the pruning for the following year, after its first growing season.

Why Plant a Tree?

An easy and pleasant way of increasing your house’s value, is planting trees. It will have numerous benefits, in fact. Read the following and learn why investing in tree planting is rewarding.

  • According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, mature trees’ value is somewhere between $1,000 and $10,000. Trees take a long time to grow and mature, so plant one now to take advantage of various benefits it will bring!
  • Based on a study done by Michigan University, well-designed landscapes will increase the overall home value more than any other improvement does. Trees in particular, can enhance the property value by 15 to 20 percent.
  • Locating trees strategically might reduce annual air-conditioning expenses by 65 percent, since trees create shade and regulate air circulation. Evergreens on the other hand, if placed properly around the property, can reduce heating costs by 20 to 50 percent during cold seasons.
  • Statistics show that houses with plenty of trees in the landscape have 3 to 7 percent higher chance to get sold in comparison to landscapes with single or a few trees.. The very presence of trees around the streets nearby can reduce marketing time by 1.7 days as well!
  • In addition to financial benefits, trees are able to filter and detoxify the air, provide a habitat for wildlife, slow down run-offs, conserve rainwater, decrease noise pollution and increase the overall human health.

How to Choose the Right Tree

Look around the local area, check the trees at parks and arboretums and make a list of compatible trees that will tolerate the climate and are aesthetically valuable at the same time. You can also get some advices from a local arborist and country extension services to choose the suitable tree.

The first thing you must consider about a tree, is the durability. Of course, fast-growers are tempting to plant around the place since they will alternate the look in a short time; but they might not be as pleasant after 20 or 30 years have passed. Some tree species get weakened overtime and will significantly get damaged by incidents and storms. Slow-growing yet sturdy trees have a prolonged lifespan and will adapt better to the area.

Do enough research before choosing a species. Take the tree’s mature size, shape and height into account and consider how it’ll look in your landscape. Read through plant labels and check at least three references about your preferred tree. For vast yards, you’d better go for larger trees which will act as background greenery for your property. And of course, you should look for smaller trees if you own a small yard. They look cute and stylish beside driveways, or you can just fill the space around large trees with smaller ones!

After finalizing your selection, protect your investment with proper maintenance. A newly planted tree should be watered weekly during the first two years. On-time pruning will benefit your trees and keep them healthier. Remember to clip the dead, broken or infected branches annually. If you are wondering about anything, consult an arborist.

Native Trees for Your Region

North American trees are already adapted to the local climate, hence they’ll require less energy and time than species from other regions. Barbara Damrosch, a horticulture expert, has presented a list of compatible trees for today’s urban yards.


  • Washington hawthorn
  • American hornbeam
  • Shadblow serviceberry


  • Eastern redbud
  • Two-winged silverbell
  • Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)


  • Blue palo verde
  • Western redbud


  • ‘Winter King’ green hawthorn
  • Red buckeye
  • Pawpaw


  • Pacific dogwood
  • Vine maple
  • Saskatoon serviceberry
Proper Plant a Tree

How Much is My Tree Worth?

Even shrubs have their own value, let alone precious ones such as evergreens and deciduous trees. A tree’s financial value is determined based on four factors:

  • Size: Including a tree’s height, overall width and trunk’s diameter. For instance, the gross value of a mature oak on a property might exceed $20,000.
  • Species: Tree species have various characteristics when it comes to durability, adaptability, sturdiness, maintenance and aesthetics. Ornamental species, drought-tolerant trees and those which provide considerable shade are higher in value. For precise value determination, you can consult a local arborist and county extension service.
  • Condition: An expert arborist can tell a tree’s general conditions by examining the trunk, branches, bark, leaves and roots.
  • Location: A tree that stands alone, shades a house, or flanks a street may be higher in value.

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